On the occasion of the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, climate protection groups blocked three entrances to the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin on Monday morning. According to the police, around 80 demonstrators took part in the protest.
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The action started around 7 a.m. Around 40 activists blocked the entrance from Leipziger Strasse. Five to ten more settled in front of the entrance on Wilhelmstrasse. In addition, according to the police, around 35 people blocked Niederkirchnerstrasse at the rear entrance of the ministry, and eight people stuck to the roadway. The police then blocked the street.
They held up signs that read something like “Global Debt = Global Crime” and “G7 You Owe, You Pay: Cancel the Debt” and “G7 you owe it, you pays: Forgive the debt”).
Some of the activists also stuck to the building. According to the police, the ministry was also daubed with paint. Emergency services began carrying protesters away from the entrances. According to a police spokeswoman, access to the ministry was restricted by the protest but was still possible through other means.
“Like many other countries in the Global North, Germany has a historical responsibility for the climate crisis, in a way a climate debt to the rest of the world, and as one of the G7 countries it also has an enormous influence on general world politics. That’s why our protest here is exactly right,” said activist Kim Weier, according to a statement published on Monday.
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According to the announcement, the activists are calling for debt relief for countries in the Global South. The countries should be “freed from the debt trap” so that they do not have to mine fossil raw materials, it said. They explicitly called on Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) to exert his influence on the World Monetary Fund in order to enable a decree.
The action is part of a series of demonstrations taking place under the title “Debt for Climate” on the occasion of the G7 summit. According to the initiative, there are protests in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the G7 countries. “Debt for Climate” is supported by more than 100 labor, social and climate movements from 30 different countries.
The Berlin police are also prepared for possible further protests in the capital later in the day. A total of 235 officers were on duty across the city on Monday, the spokeswoman said. “If something happens, we are able to act.”
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Just last week there were daily protests from another climate protection initiative in Berlin. The group “uprising of the last generation” had repeatedly blocked exits from the A100 city motorway and once also the commuter route around the Frankfurter Tor.